Background: When used correctly, dermoscopy is an essential tool for helping clinicians in the diagnosis of skin diseases and the early detection of skin cancers. Despite its proven benefits, there is a lack of data about how European dermatologists use dermoscopy in everyday practice.
Objectives: To identify the motivations, obstacles and modifiable factors influencing the use of dermoscopy in daily dermatology practice across Europe.
Methods: All registered dermatologists in 32 European countries were invited to complete an online survey of 20 questions regarding demographic and practice characteristics, dermoscopy training and self-confidence in dermoscopic skills, patterns of dermoscopy use, reasons for not using dermoscopy and attitudes relating to dermoscopy utility.
Results: We collected 7480 valid answers, of which 89% reported use of dermoscopy. The main reasons for not using dermoscopy were lack of equipment (58% of nonusers) and lack of training (42%). Dermoscopy training during residency was reported by 41% of dermoscopy users and by 12% of nonusers (P < 0·001). Dermatologists working in public hospitals were the least likely to use dermoscopy. High use of dermoscopy across the spectrum of skin diseases was reported by 62% of dermoscopy users and was associated with dermoscopy training during residency, the use of polarized light and digital dermoscopy devices, longer dermoscopy practice, younger age and female gender.
Conclusions: Expanding access to dermoscopy equipment, especially in public healthcare facilities and establishing dermoscopy training during dermatology residency would further enhance the substantially high dermoscopy use across European countries.
© 2016 British Association of Dermatologists.